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tv   British Prime Ministers Questions  CSPAN  March 17, 2013 9:00pm-9:30pm EDT

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as c-span podcast. "new york times" reporter edward $9 billion about a fund to ensure services are
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available everywhere in the u.s. "washington journal," live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. the weekly "question time," on wednesday, prime minister david cameron answered questions, mostly on the british economy, child-care benefits, and reforms to the national health service. this is just over 30 minutes. >> order. questions to the prime minister. eagues and others and in addition to my duties in this house i shall have server, furt >> the prime minister. >> this morning, i had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others, and, in addition to my duties in this house, i shall have further such meetings later today. >> we all know that the prime minister believes there is no alternative to his double-dip, his double-debt, or his loss of the triple-a credit rating, but is he aware that his back benchers and some of his cabinet
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believe there is an alternative to him? hear, hear. >> what this government are delivering are 1 million private-sector jobs and the fastest rate of new business noires history. we have paid down the deficit by 25% and have cut immigration by a third. we have a long, hard road to travel, but we are going in the right direction. >> hear, hear. >> mr. james morris. >> i am sure that the prime minister will wish to add his condolences to the family and friends of christina edkins, who was murdered on a bus to school in my constituency last morning. the government have rightly introduced minimum custodial sentences for people convicted of threatening someone with a knife, but does the prime minister agree that it is time to introduce a legal assumption that people carrying a knife intend to use it and should attract a prison sentence, so
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that we can redouble our efforts to rid our communities of the scourge of knives? >> hear, hear. >> i think that my honorable friend speaks for the whole house and, indeed, the whole country on the absolute revulsion at this horrific crime. i know that the whole house will sincere condolences to christina edkins's family. we take knife crime extremely seriously, which is why, as my honorable friend has said, we changed the law so that any adult who commits a crime with a knife can expect to be sent to prison, and for a serious offence, they should expect a very log sentence. i will happily look at what my honorable friend suggests. my right honorable friend the justice secretary is currently reviewing the powers available to the courts to deal with knife possession and will bring forward proposals in due course. >> mr. ed miliband. >> in the light of his u-turn on alcohol pricing, is there anything the prime minister could organize in a brewery?
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[laughter] [cheers and applause] >> i would like to organize a party in the brewery in my constituency, to which the right honorable gentleman would be very welcome, to celebrate that the shadow chancellor should stay for a very long time on the front bench. hear.r, he obviously -- [laughter] let's turn to obviously could not tell us about his policy on minimum unit pricing for alcohol. the reality is that he has been overruled by the home secretary on that one. let us turn to another thing that the prime minister has said that we cannot trust. in his speech last thursday, he said that the independent office for budget responsibility is "absolutely clear that the deficit reduction plan is not responsible" for low growth.
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this is not what they say, and we'll he acknowledged that today? thatll he acknowledge today? the top team i wanted and he's got the top team that i want, too. and long may they c >> the interesting thing about british politics right now is that i have the top team that i want and he has the top team that i want, too. long may they continue. the office off budget responsibility, the point of the office for budget responsibility is that it is independent. everyone should accept everything that it says, and i do. we should look at what it says about why growth has turned out to be lower than it forecast. it said that "we concluded from an examination of the --data that the impact of external inflation shocks, deteriorating export markets, and financial sector and eurozone difficulties were more likely explanations." toat is what they said, and, be fair, to be fair to the shadow chancellor, his own press
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release says, "the obr says they are yet to be persuaded" by the case that he makes. but i have to tell you, his plans are more spending, more borrowing, and more debt. the country will never be persuaded. >> ed miliband. budget reform wrote >> the prime minister is clearly living in a fantasy land. he wants us to believe that the head of the office for budget responsibility wrote him an open letter the day after his speech because he enjoyed it so much and agreed with it so much. actually, what he said in the letter was, "we believe that fiscal consolidation measures have reduced economic growth over the past couple of years." yesterday, weer, learned that industrial production is at its lowest level for 20 years. now, that sets alarm bells ringing for everyone else in this country. why does it not for the prime minister? >> prime minister. >> the first point is that manufacturing declined as a share of our gdp faster under the government of which the right honorable gentleman was a
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member than at any time since the industrial revolution. that is what happened. the decimation of manufacturing industry under 10 years of a labour government. he quotes from the office for budget responsibility, and i accept everything that it says, -- that they say, but let me quote from the institute for fiscal studies. the institute of fiscal studies, it says that borrowing under labour would be £200 billion higher. does he accept that forecast? >> ed miliband? >> it is good to see, for a second week running, that the right honorable gentleman is getting into practice for opposition. nothing tohe had say, he had nothing to say about industrial production, but his own business secretary, the guy who is supposed to be in charge of these issues, is going around telling anyone who will listen that the plan is not working. this is what he says. he says that "we are now in a position where the economy is not growing in the way it had been expected." and, he goes on, "we don't want to be japan with a decade of no
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growth." his ownker, when business secretary calls for him to change course, is he speaking for the government? untry than we have at any time in our history. exports to all the key markets in terms of goods like india, >> let me tell him what is happening in the industrial production. we are now producing more motor cars in this country than at anyexports of goods to all the key markets, such as india, china, russia, and brazil, are increasing very rapidly. none of those things happened under a labour government when they trashed our economy, racked up debts, and nearly bankrupted the country. that we should spend more money on capital. that is why we are spending £10 billion more than was in the plans of the government of which the right honorable gentleman was a member. i think we should be using the strength of the government balance sheet to encourage private-sector capital. that is why, for the first time in its history, the treasury is providing those guarantees. the fact is that he wrecked the economy and put in place plans for capital cuts, and we are investing in the country's infrastructure.
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>> ed miliband. >> never mind more car production, it is "taxi for cameron" after that answer. >> hear, hear. things are so bad, things are so bad that the government sent out baroness warsi at the weekend to say that she had "full confidence" in the prime minister and that he had support from"large parts of his party." [laughter] mr. speaker -- maybe he even has the support of large parts of his cabinet, i am not sure. [laughter] just a week from the budget, the home secretary goes out making speeches about the economy, i think the part-time chancellor should concentrate on the budget, then she gets told off by the children's secretary, who is hiding down there by the chair, for jockeying for position. is not the truth that it is not just the country that has lost confidence in the chancellor and his economic plan but the whole cabinet? >> hear, hear.
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>> the weakness in the right honorable gentleman's argument is that my party has unanimous support for his leadership, as long as he keeps the shadow chancellor there. i have to say -- >> order. it is very discourteous for members to gesticulate so aggressively at the prime minister. let us hear his answer. >> what is remarkable, yet again, is this. were is the argument on welfare? he has got no argument on welfare. where is the argument on the deficit? he has got nothing to say about the deficit. where are his plans for getting the economy moving? he has got nothing to say. that is what is happening under his leadership, absolutely nothing apart from debt, debt, and more debt. >> ed miliband. >> mr. speaker, and hene. a government that is absolutely hopeless, and today's exchanges have shown it. a week out from the budget, they have an economic policy
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that is failing, a prime minister who makes it up as he goes along, the country that is paying the price. >> six questions, and not a single positive suggestion for how to get on top of the deficit that the right honorable gentleman left, not a single suggestion for how to deal with the massive welfare bills that we were left, and not suggestion for how to improve standards in our schools. but i do know what he has been doing over these last months, i do know what he has been doing, because i have been passed -- >> order. this answer must be heard. >> and it is a particularly interesting one, because i have here a copy of the right -- of his diary, and i know what he has been up to. tsf these are the dinners that he has held to raise money from the trade unions in the last few weeks. the gmb, usdaw, aslef, the tssa, ucatt, £2.7 million, dinosaur after dinosaur, dinner after dinner. they pay the money, they get the policies, but the country
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would end up paying the price. >> jason mccartney. >> it is national apprenticeship week. more than 1,500 businesses in kirklees are now offering apprenticeships, and we are becoming an official apprenticeship hub. will the prime minister join me in praising all the businesses in my area that are taking on apprentices, kirklees college under the leadership of peter mccann, which is offering vocational training, and all the great, young people who are going to see a positive future for our great nation? >> i will certainly join my honorable friend in what he says about national apprenticeship week. it is an important moment for our country, because over the past two-and-a-half years, we have seen 1 million people start apprenticeships, and the run rate is at more than half a million a year. our is very important for country, and what i want to see is a new norm where we recognize that people who leave school should either be going to university or taking part in an apprenticeship. that is the agenda and the
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ambition that we should set for young people and our country. >> diana johnson. >> is it not the case that a couple who have separated could still live in the same home without bedroom tax rules applying? given that glaring loophole discouraging marriage, should not the prime minister's next u- turn be axing this cruel and shambolic tax altogether? >> first of all, let me say, once again, that only the labour party could call welfare reform a tax. a tax is when you earn money and the government take away some of your money. what this is, this is a basic issue of fairness. there is not a spare room subsidy for people in private, rented accommodation in receipt of housing benefit, so we should ask why there is a spare room subsidy for people living in council houses and getting housing benefit. it is a basic issue of fairness and this government are putting it right.
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>> andrew bingham. >> glossop cartons in my constituency has just invested significantly in placing the world's first order for the euclid digital cutting and creasing machine. tomorrow, nestlé opens its brand-new, state-of-the-art bottling plant for the famous buxton water, also in my constituency. does my right honorable friend agree that those significant investments show that this government are making britain well equipped to win the global race? >> prime minister. >> my honorable friend is absolutely right. we do see investment by large multinational companies, such as nestlé, which now recognize that we have one of the most competitive tax systems anywhere in the world. kpmg recently reported that in just two years we have gone from having one of the least competitive corporate tax systems in the world to having one of the most competitive. in thete tax systems world. what has changed is the arrival of this chancellor and this government who have put right the mess made by the party opposite. >> order.
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be the goals when exp blunkett. >> what progress has been made by the high-level panel on the development of priorities for the millennium development goals after 2015. >> i am proud to be leading the united nations high-level panel on what should replace the millennium development goals when they expire in 2015. in my view, we should put the strongest possible emphasis on attempting to banish extreme poverty from the world and that focus on extreme poverty should come first and foremost. i also hope that, in replacing and enhancing the millennium development goals, we can for the first time look at what i call the golden thread of things that help people and countries out of poverty, which includes good government, lack of corruption, the presence of law and order, justice, and the rule of law. those things can make a real difference. >> in view of proceedings so far, i did not expect to hear myself saying this, but i commend the prime minister on the work he is doing on that panel and in seeking to hold to the international development budget. at a moment when we are asking people to give generously this weekend through comic relief this weekend, will he identify one group of people who were not included in the millennium
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development goals and who are often excluded from society and education, those severely disabled young people who face grinding poverty, ill health, and the disadvantage of those disabilities? will the prime minister give priority to them in developments over the next two years? prime minister. >> he makes a very good point about helping disabled people across the world, and we should make sure that a framework we look at properly includes the people he says. the poorest people in our wrld. and i would also say to those on the wider issue of our aid budget, i know it is contentious and i know it is difficult, but i believe we should not break a promise that we made to the poorest people in our world. to those who have their doubts i say that of course there is a strong moral case for our aid budget, but there is also a national security case. it is remarkable that the broken countries, countries affected by conflict, have not met one single millennium developmentby helping to mend those countries, often through security work as well as aid work, we can help the poorest in our world.
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>> chris skidmore. >> in 1997 there were no excess deaths in the mortality data at mid staffordshire hospital, but as early as 2002, there were 120 excess deaths. that figure rose year on year, yet labour health secretary after labour health secretary did nothing apart from award the trust foundation status in 2009. occurred, some of which were patients who died in their own feces. does the prime minister believe -- not believe that the mid staffordshire scandal underlines the fact that labour's supposed claim to be the party of the nhs is the greatest lie in british -- >> order. order. order, order. members may cheer, but first, i am afraid the question was too long, and secondly, i ask the prime minister to bear in mind what is his responsibility and what is not, in a very brief answer, and then we can move on. prime minister. >> my responsibility is to respond properly to the francis report, and i commend francis
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for what he did. it is important to remember that it is this government who set up a proper, independent inquiry into the disgraces that happened at mid staffs. everyone has to learn their shok scapegoats. but what w including ministers in the previous government, but i think we should listen to francis when he says that we should not seek scapegoats. what we need to do, right across politics, the house and our country, is end any culture of complacency. i love our nhs; there are some fantastic parts to our nhs, but in too many parts we do see, as he said, very bad figures, and we need to deal with them. there are significant challenges >> naomi long. >> in a few weeks, we will be 15 years on since the signing of the good friday agreement, and although devolution is in place, significant challenges remain in delivering on the agreement's full potential and the commitments contained within it to build reconciliation, unequivocal support for the rule of law, and to dealdoes the
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prime minister agree that there must be renewed urgency in progressing those outstanding issues, and will he outline, in light of this week's positive engagement with the irish taoiseach, the rule he sees for both governments as joint custodians of the agreement in moving that forward? it is, again, toulon. prime minister. too long.again, prime minister. sibility for the british partnership to work together and we had a very good set pieces >> i thank the honorable lady for her question and for her very constructive work in northern ireland. i know that the whole house wants to wish her well with the difficulties that she and her office have faced in recent weeks. i think there is of course a responsibility for the taoiseach and the british prime minister to work together, and we had a very good set of meetings this week; but the greatest possible responsibility lies with the devolved institutions. it is great that they are working and that the agreement appeal to the first minister, shared future for the people of people apart in northern ireland, find the savings from those things and invest in a better future for everyone in northern ireland. ireland. >> question eight.
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>> [inaudible] >> sorry, i look for to visiting soon. [laughter] i did very much enjoy my recent visit when i went to the toyota factory in which many of her constituents work. and i'm sure i will be back there, soon. >> i know my right honorable friend is quite rightly taking a proactive role in leading trade mission to india and other countries. does he agree with me that the small manufacturing companies like those bed should also be given the chance to play their start in driving britain's exports to emerging markets like india, china, and the rest of? >> my honorable friend is right, we have improved our performance in terms of exports and goods as i said earlier to these key emerging markets, but the real challenge is to get smes exporting to if we could
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increase i think the figure is from one in five to one in four would wipe out our trade deficit, which create many jobs and a lot of investment at the same time. i've led trade missions every single g20 country apart from argentina and other forward to doing more in the future. i will certainly include smes and perhaps some from her constituency. >> and the slaughter. >> [inaudible]. there'll be replaced by private health clinics. some of those leading to the closure program have already -- the[inaudible] >> i don't think he's right any part of this question. the first point i would make is the nhs in northwest london is going to be getting 3.6 billion pounds this year. that is 100 million pounds more than a year before under this
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government we are increasing the investment. the changes that he talks about, if you refer to the health secretary, he would of course consider whether the changes are in the best interest of patients. that is the right process to follow. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the prime minister will i am should be aware of the strong contributions the british ecomy be made by the inbound tourism industry in this country. does he therefore share my concern as expressed by the torrents alliance changes to the does are likely to this press the number of visitors coming particularly from brazil? what we did to ensure the border agency does not become a gross suppressant to the uk? >> i'm happy to say to my friend of the national security council met recently to consider some of these border issues. and has decided not to put the pieces onto brazilian national. we wt to wecome the brazilians to make sure we enhance border security. but actually in defense of the home office, the time spent in terms of processing visas has
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been great improvement there, and we're looking at a number of steps to make sure we attract tourists from the fastest-growing markets, including china and elsewhere. >> thank you, mr. speaker. does the pre minister except that families face a triple whammy in childcare, costs are going up, the average family has lost over 1500 pounds a year in support? therefore does he also except that he may he made announce next week to help with the cost of childcare will be small remedy to a crises of his own making >> i don't except with the audible that he says. it was this, that extended the number of hours to three and four-year-olds that if introduced for the first time childcare payments for under two years old. we've lived too many people out the tax altogether. someone on a minimum-wage working full-time have seen their incomeax bill cut in half. i know that she wants to try and put people off to a very major
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step forward where we'll be helping people who work hard, want to do the right thing, the want of child care for the children but that is what will be announcing and i think it will be welcomed. >>hank you, mr. speaker. britaiis in the global race not just with our traditional competitor economy but with countries like brazil, russia and india and china. ahead of the budget next week and my right honorable friend of the house what assessment he has made of where we are likely to finish in the race? if we abandon our deficit reduction program over but on some magical faraway money, as the party opposite recommends? >> my friend makes a very important point. one of the most important reasons for continuing to get our deficit down is it is essential to have those low interest rates that are essential for homeowners and essential for businesses. and if we abandon those plans, if we listen to the party opposite would have more ending, more borrowing, more dead comics at the things that got us into this mess in the first place.
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>> mr. nigel dodds. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the rising price of petrol and diesel at the pumps which is set to rise to near record levels in the very near future is causing real problems for our constituents in terms of the cost of living. that, we know what the primers and the government of already done. but can he reassure that tells -- the house today about further action to cut the toxic tax and bring petrol and diesel prices down to help hard-pressed motorists, families and industry? >> of course i will listen carefully to what the right honorable gentleman says. what i would say is that petrol d diesel ices are 10 p. a liter lower than they wouldn't be had we stuck to the absolutely toxic plan that were put in place by the party opposite. so we have taken action and we doing everything we can to help people with the cost of living. that is why we're listening to get people onto the lowest gas or electricity tariff, why we've taken 2 million people out of text of my we are frozen the council tax in the hope that we
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can do more to help people. >> the prime minister is right. britain does have a good reco. but e rising price of fuel is causing real problem. i ho there will be good years in the budget. fuel duty increase inherited from labour will be canceled. spent i'm very grateful for what my honorable friend says about what the government has already done on fuel duty to he did admit to say that also we took the step to help ireland commtees like some of those that he represents with special conditions to try and help with what is a very major aspect, people live in his constituency don't have a cice in many cases but to use a car. we have to respect that. >> tnk you, mr. speaker. will be prime minister benefit personally from the millionaire's tax cut?
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[shouting] >> let me say to the honorable gentleman, i will pay all of the taxes that i am into. but let me just point out one small point. let me point out one small point. i had a letter this week -- [shouting] i had a letter this week, i thought people might enjoy. it's from ed who lives in camden and it says this, i am a millionaire. i live in a house where two main pounds woody guthrie combination of inheritance and property speculation. am worried that if sell my house and i buy another one, i will have to pay the 7%stamp duty that the wicked tories have introduced. under labour, what we are talking of them is we never made the rich pay more. what should a champagne socialist like me do? [shouting] [laughter] >> i know that the prime
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minister recently visited the center in ford, and i'm sure he shares my view that they did fantastic job of helping disabled people people committee more effectively. what guarantees cathe prime minister give that communication aids will be able to more young people that is currently the case to everyone who could benefit to do so? >> i'm really grateful to my honorable friend for raising this issue, because the center which has been now in my constituency briefly in oxford has done incredible work for people with disabilities over many years. they are making the most of extraordinaire changes in technology. when i visited them recently we look at hold draft of ways which we to make sure the nhs is making these things available to more people and a very committed to working with him and the center to make sure that happens. >> russell brown.
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>> thank you very much, mr. speaker. prime minister conjugated promise to protect and defend budget in its entirety. that you didn't. the defence secretary who promised to balance the budget at the national audit office said he failed. prime minister, will you now guaranteed that there will be -- >> order, order. the honorable gentleman has been here 16 years. he shouldn't use the word you injury. sorry buddy makes the rules. quickly, finish the qustion. >> will a commitment be given that defense budget would be protected for the in this parliament? >> the commitment i can give hi is that the 38 billion black hole that we inherited has been got rid of and freeze the budget across this part at 33 billion pounds gives us the fourth largest defense budget in the world. but we're determined to use that money to make sure we equip our forces with what they need for the future and that is a massive contrast to the record of the


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